The action on the ice is heating up in Sochi. We're already at Day 5 of the Olympic figure skating competition, and the pairs full program is on tap for Wednesday. Thus far, the Russians have dominated competition on their home ice.
The hosts took the gold medal in the team competition. Canada settled for the silver, and the United States took the bronze medal.
On Wednesday, the world's best pairs of figure skaters will take the ice to dazzle us with their moves, grace and teamwork.
Here's the television viewing information needed for Wednesday and the rest of the events.
|Wed., Feb. 12||Pairs FP||10:45 a.m.||NBCSN|
|Thurs., Feb. 13||Men's SP||10 a.m.||NBCSN|
|Fri., Feb. 14||Men's FP||10 a.m.||NBCSN|
|Sun., Feb. 16||Ice SD||10 a.m.||NBCSN|
|Wed., Feb. 19||Ladies' SP||10 a.m.||NBCSN|
|Thurs., Feb. 20||Ladies' FP||10 a.m.||NBCSN|
|Sat., Feb. 22||Gala Exhibition||11:30 a.m.||NBCSN|
The live streaming of this event will be available on NBC Olympics Live Extra.
Here's the medal count for the leading nations right now.
Standout Performers to Watch For
The Russian team of Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov had the highest qualifying score on Tuesday. Their 84.17 was nearly five points higher than their closest competitors, Germany's Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy.
While this was simply the qualifying run, it seems safe to call Volosozhar and Trankov the favorites for the gold medal on Wednesday.
The pair is clearly benefiting from skating in front of their country's fans. After their solid qualifying run, Trankov said this per ESPN.com and the Associated Press:
When all the audience is up on its feet, it gives us great energy. We were trying to breathe together with the audience and feel the good wishes from them, and it has helped us through this program.
If you're looking for the American team with the best chance at earning a medal, you'll want to focus on Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir. They don't appear to have a great chance to come up big, but their 67.44 qualifying score was the highest of the two American teams. It was still only good for the ninth-highest qualifying score.
Scott Harris of Bleacher Report thinks the duo has a secret weapon that could give them an inroad to a medal. He explains:
The secret weapon can be summed up in two words: quadruple Salchow.
The Salchow jump involves a landing made on the back outside edge of the foot opposite the one used for take-off. But what makes this so unusual is that it involves four rotations, a quadruple. It's a very unusual throw that many teams don't have in their arsenals.
Shnapir is 6'4"; that height in turn gives extra height to his throws, which gives Castelli extra time to make extra revolutions in the air. It's a dazzling move, and it's Team USA's true secret weapon in the pairs figure skating competition.
All they have to do is land it.
If the Americans can pull off the quadruple Salchow, perhaps they can make this competition interesting. If not, it will likely turn into another Russian romp.